On the Street Where We Live

I’ve lived on this street for almost half  my life. Our children were born and raised here. Their childhood toys used to dot the backyard. I  heard the basketball bouncing late into the night as our son would shoot hoops with his dad. My parents lived with us during their later years. Together we tilled a large garden and canned much of our food. Now the garden is a small raised bed.

We live far enough from town to be considered almost in the countryside. The street is two lanes with a 25 mph speed limit. The only ones who usually speed are the teachers late for their arrival at the elementary school down the road! Bright yellow school buses brighten the day. Joggers have made this quiet street part of their chosen path.

We used to hear the squawking of pheasants and watch barn owls slowly swoop by. Red tailed hawks still fly overhead. We have heard the chatter and squeals of neighbor children. We can recognize whose dog is barking. The horses in the next field constantly whinnied for attention. The dear old farmer a few doors away used to drive his ’49 tractor every day in his field. I can still imagine the patter of the old engine.

There used to be three piano teachers on the block. Now, I am the only one. A sewing teacher taught the neighborhood children how to be creative. Two math teachers and a host of retired mill workers constantly worked on projects. A retired bailiff lived across the street and later his grandson opened a cabinet shop in the garage. The young men across the street are now older but still working hard in their logging jobs. I’ve seen the hunters’ bear and deer ready to butcher.

We have watched very few changes over the 34 years. Most neighbors were here when we moved in. But now the street is beginning to change, as it should for the new generations. Several older neighbors have died. Our long time postman will soon retire. Five new homes have been built. Homes are being restored. For sale signs have been posted. Old trees have been cut for firewood. New trees have been planted.

 
Seasons in life change.

 
But some things remain constant. Soon the Canadian geese will begin their southern migration over our home. I will be awakened by their honking and I will smile. I will hear the ships’ fog horns and know the mighty Columbia River is teeming with commerce. I will be still and listen for the other neighborhood sounds and know this is where I am now…happy to be on this street where we live.

 

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11 Responses to On the Street Where We Live

  1. Lovely post! We’ve been in the same neighborhood for nearly 23 years and have raised two sons in the same house. We have an acre and there were 9 acres of farmland behind us. Now that acreage is being developed into a 44 home site. They’ve cut all the trees right up to our property line. It’s painful. And there is nothing we can do to change it. We are so grateful for the piece of land we own and what a beautiful little oasis it has grown into. Things always change. But the hummingbirds will still visit, and the neighbors’ cats will still sleep on my deck chair. Its home!

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  2. So lovely that you are back up and writing! Your attitude to change is inspirational, especially considering you haven’t had much of it in your neighbourhood during your 34 year tenure. I read in your bio that you live really close to Mt. St. Helens. So interesting. I was visiting with my parents at their farm in Aldergrove BC on that day and we both heard and felt the explosion. Later that day I drove down to Issaquah for a fam tour for work and was amazed to see the cars pulling up to hotel. They were coated in ash.
    Anywho, back to this post. I’ve lived in my current home for almost 25 years and raised both our children here. While many of the old bungalows are being knocked down they are being replaced with lovely homes. The thing that surprises me the most is how fast the years have flown by…

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  3. Linda Watson says:

    A beautiful post, glad you’re writing again. I too have lived on the same street for ages, in fact, the same area for all of my life. Sometimes, the changes can be hard. At least, I find it hard as open space disappears and traffic and noise increases. Other times, I’m so grateful for those memories and to know this place so well.

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  4. Nancy Jambor says:

    Ruth, so glad you’re writing again! Lovely post about how change is inevitable and yet there is a sense of constancy in living in the same place for so many years.

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  5. Great post Ruth. Brought tears to my eyes thinking of the things that keep me grounded in the face of many changes.

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  6. Sue says:

    Ruth, it sounds like a wonderful hometown and neighborhood that you have grown to love over the years, it shows in your writings. I truly enjoyed it!

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  7. what a lovely post – I’d love to see a pictures that show how it was and how it is changing. I’ve lived in my house for 17 years – and I can’t imagine leaving it! Glad you are back!

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  8. SKJAM! says:

    My street is just one block long–a decade or so before I moved in, the freeway on one end and a parking lot on the other cut it off. New apartments came in across the road some years back, and the long-closed laundromat next to my building was torn down for a very narrow apartment building. Still, it’s very quiet for being right next to downtown.

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  9. PR Brady says:

    Bittersweet post for me. I recall a place much like yours I shared with the love of my life for a decade–a short departure from the border suburb where I’ve lived most of my life, and at least for now, still reside in. We saw massive changes around our 80 acres of farm life, but we held fast to our simple ways. It’s memories like the things you describe that remind me of that special time, but also, reminds me of how much things change…….as I well up with tears…..

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  10. Susan says:

    Such a lovely post! I can see this street in my mind, hear the kids playing, the neighborly interactions and the general sounds of country living. Such a simple concept, the street where I live, and yet at the same time such rich fodder for contemplation.

    Everyone has a street, a town, a school, someplace they identify with. I suspect this post has stirred up memories for many of us. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Robin Heim says:

    Can I move in with you?

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